[Dev] [RFC] rewording the Social Contract

Luke T. Shumaker lukeshu at sbcglobal.net
Sun Jul 28 23:06:00 GMT 2013

At Sun, 28 Jul 2013 18:24:26 -0300,
Nicolás Reynolds wrote:
> "Luke T. Shumaker" <lukeshu at sbcglobal.net> writes:
> > > should we specify "arch and derivatives" on item 4?
> >
> > I'm not sure what you want it to say.
> i mean if we produce libre repositories for arch and it's derivatives,
> like making a libre version of archmobile (arm* architecture), shouldn't
> the contract also expand onto the derivatives (promise to follow
> development process, etc).

Oh, ok.  I agree with that.  I think.  Now I'm actually questioning
how much I agree with item 4.

To break it down:

4. **Parabola and Arch Linux**:
   a. Parabola will produce an operating system that is a Free version
      of [Arch Linux][3].
   b. We provide repositories and installation images without any
      non-free software.
   c. We respect Arch's KISS philosophy (Keep It Simple, Stupid)
   d. and its development process.
   e. In that sense, Parabola will always maintain retro compatibility
      with Arch Linux so as to help Free already working

I'm concerned with items d and e.  I'm confused what "In that sense,"
means in item e.  I'm also confused by item d--how much do we follow
their development process now?

 * We use libretools' libremakepkg instead of devtools' archbuild
 * We have almost none of the workflow integration between the repos
   and the PKGBUILD tracker. (though I'm working on that)
 * We have none of the access control, wrt which hackers can publish
 * We have none of the review process before packages end up in the
   main repos.

And honestly, I think that all but the first of these are things we
could work on.

And all of this differs for the derivatives.  Arch Hurd seems pretty
similar to Parabola GNU/Linux in that regard, but Arch Linux ARM has
a fairly different process.  If we ended up with an ARM port, would we
have to adopt the Plug distributed build system?  Not that that would
necessarily be a bad idea, but should that really be part of the
social contract?

I think we should ditch mentioning the development process, and
instead focus on the resulting software.


4. We will produce an operating system that is a Free version of
   [Arch Linux][3], and possibly other Arch-based systems.  We will
   provide repositories and installation media without any non-free
   software.  All Parabola operating systems will be backward
   compatible with the system they are based on, as to help Free
   already working installations.  We will respect the design
   philosophies of the systems ours are based on, to reduce friction
   from both developer and user viewpoints.

Happy hacking,
~ Luke Shumaker

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